General information

Equine viral arteritis (EVA) is a worldwide distributed, contagious viral infection of Equidae caused by the equine arteritis virus (EAV). Confirmed outbreaks seem to have increased in recent years. The majority of naturally acquired infections is subclinical; however, seroconversion still occurs. When clinical signs appear, they vary in type and severity: fever, depression anorexia and peripheral oedema, conjunctivitis (“pink eye”), urticaria and abortion. In young animals, pneumonia and pneumoenteritis may also be seen. The virus is mainly transmitted through ejaculate. Persistently infected carrier stallions carry the virus in their accessory sex glands and intermittently shed it in the genital secretions. Geldings, prepubescent stallions and mares cannot be carriers. Especially in animals with systemic disease, excretion can also occur through other body secretions, such as aerolised secretions of the respiratory tract, urine, abortion material, etc.

In Germany, when EVA is detected in Equidae (horses, donkeys, etc.), there is an obligation to notify the authorities.